Emotional Problems

Teen Suicide

This page has statistics on teen suicide as well as general suicide statistics. We are trying to educate the public about the teen suicide warning signs. We will be adding more teen suicide prevention resources very soon. If you know someone who exhibits teenage suicide warning signs – please call a suicide hotline ASAP! 1-800-273-8255

Teen Suicide Deaths, U.S., 2001

Suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.

It was the 8th leading cause of death for males, and 19th leading cause of death for females.

The total number of suicide deaths was 30,622.

The 2001 age-adjusted rate** was 10.7/100,000 or 0.01%.

1.3% of total deaths were from suicide. By contrast, 29% were from diseases of the heart, 23% were from malignant neoplasms (cancer), and 6.8% were from cerebrovascular disease (stroke) – the three leading causes.

Suicides outnumbered homicides (20,308) by 3 to 2.

There were twice as many deaths due to suicide than deaths due to HIV/AIDS (14,175).

Suicide by firearms was the most common method for both men and women, accounting for 55% of all suicides.

More men than women die by suicide.

The gender ratio is 4:1.

73% of all suicide deaths are white males.

80% of all firearm suicide deaths are white males.

Among the highest rates (when categorized by gender and race) are suicide deaths for white men over 85, who had a rate of 54/100,000.

Teen suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults and adolescents 15 to 24 years of age, following unintentional injuries and homicide. The rate was 9.9/100,000 or .01%.

The adolescent suicide rate among youth ages 10-14 was 1.3/100,000 or 272 deaths among 20,910,440 children in this age group. The gender ratio for this age group was 3:1 (males: females).

The teen suicide rate among youth aged 15-19 was 7.9/100,000 or 1,611 deaths among 20,271,312 teenagers in this age group. The gender ratio for teenage group was 5:1 (males: females).

Among young people 20 to 24 years of age, the youth suicide rate was 12/100,000 or 2,360 deaths among 19,711,423 people in this age group. The gender ratio for this age group was 7:1 (males: females).

Attempted Teenage Suicides
No annual national data on all attempted teenage suicides are available.
Other research indicates that:
There are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for each teen suicide death; the ratio is higher in women and youth and lower in men and the elderly.
More women than men report a history of attempted suicide, with a gender ratio of 3:1.
Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warnings.

Pay attention to these teen suicide warning signs: 
Suicide threats, direct and indirect
Teen depression
Obsession with death
Poems, essays and drawings that refer to death
Dramatic change in personality or appearance
Irrational, bizarre behavior
Overwhelming sense of guilt, shame or reflection
Changed eating or sleeping patterns
Severe drop in school performance
Giving away belongings